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Split Text by Delimiter in Google Sheets

This article will show you how to split text based on a specified delimiter in Google Sheets.

What is a Delimiter

A delimiter is simply a specified character that defines the boundary between separate independent regions of plain text. In other words, it is something like a space, comma, or semi-colon that breaks up text into multiple parts.

For example, let’s say you have the name John Bob Smith. You can argue that the space is the delimiter here because it separates this full name into three distinct parts – the first, middle, and last names.

Here is another example. Take a look at the following text string.

The Long Walk; Stephen King; Fiction; July 1979; 400 Pages

In this case, the delimiter is a semi-colon because it separates the different parts of the information within the text string.

How to Split Text by a Delimiter

Now that you know what a delimiter is, let’s talk about how to split the text using a delimiter value in Google Sheets.

You can use the SPLIT function to split text by a specified delimiter in Google Sheets.

The SPLIT function divides text around a specified character or string and puts each fragment into a separate cell in the row.

In other words, it takes a text value and splits that value into multiple text values based on a specified delimiter.

How to Use the SPLIT Function

To use the SPLIT function in Google Sheets, reference the cell containing the text for the first argument of this function.

For the second argument, specify the delimiter for dividing the text.

Take a look at this example. Here, we have John Bob Smith in cell A2.

To split this name into the first, middle, and last components, we select cell B2 and enter the following formula.

=SPLIT(A2, " ")

The SPLIT function references the text in A2 and splits it according to the specified delimiter, which is a space in this case.

Each fragment of the text is then placed into a single cell to the right of the original text value.

If you would like to read the official SPLIT function documentation, check it out here.

See It In Action

See an example of how the SPLIT function is used in Google Sheets.

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